Blog | Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drug smuggler takes huge risk in swallowing 72 capsules of cocaine

This CT scan reveals reddish capsules that are intertwined throughout this man's intestines. The 72 capsules are filled with almost a kilogram of cocaine. The man was arrested in Sao Paolo, Brazil, as he was getting ready to board a flight to Brussels. He was an Irish guy and he was taken to the hospital for removal of the baggies. We don't know how they were removed but usually they are expelled with laxatives.

If one of the capsules ruptures it can be life threatening to the "human mule." Last week a Colombian woman, Sorlinda Vega, died in a New Zealand hospital after a bag of cocaine burst in her body.

Approximately five people a day are arrested for drug smuggling in San Paolo International Airport. The airport has connections to 53 countries.

This post originally appeared at Everything Health. Toni Brayer, FACP, is an ACP Internist editorial board member who blogs at EverythingHealth, designed to address the rapid changes in science, medicine, health and healing in the 21st Century.